Sunday, January 25, 2009

Then and now

Fall Creek Falls State Park, October 2006

January 2009







Waterfall tour

Last weekend we decided to do a tour of waterfalls within an hour of our house. On Saturday everything was frozen. By Sunday it was 50 degrees.

Dodson Branch:

Hardscrabble Falls (Caroline enjoyed stabbing the ice with a stick):

Not sure of this one's name:

Warren Falls on our friends' property:

Fall Creek Falls at Fall Creek Falls State Park:

Piney Falls:

Cane Creek Falls:

These next two were in Fall Creek Falls State Park too, but we can't remember their names:

Waterloo Falls on Spring Creek:

Johnson Falls on Roaring River Gorge:

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Moving on up

Exciting developments in the last few days! Three Bethany families received referrals for infants (ages 7, 9 and 11 months). This moved us to #2 on the list. Yep, that means only one family ahead of us. The wait for a healthy infant is currently about 7.5 months and growing. We've now been waiting 7 months and 9 days.

As excited and anxious as I am to get that referral, I can't get my arms around the reality of it all. For the past 15 months, our Ethiopian adoption has been about paperwork and waiting. It's easy to lose sight of the fact that it's about a child. That's so different from giving birth, where you experience the movement toward parenthood, both physically and emotionally.

I can't wait to share the emotions that will come with a referral. I've had a glimpse of them when I see a family above us on the list get their referral and we move closer to our day. If that heart-stopping moment is any indication, I'm going to have to peel myself off the floor when our call comes.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

It's all about the gear

They say exercising with a cold neither lengthens nor shortens the illness. I'm not sure if this includes paddling 7 miles in the rain, but as this was my second rainy weekend couped up in a stuffy house with a 2-year-old, I took my chances.

I checked and it assured me that the area had only light drizzle and was scheduled to clear up by 1p. So as Spence drove away from the put-in at noon, committing me to a 3-hour trip, the sky opened up -- true to's form. is an oxymoron, an exercise in reverse psychology.

I guess I should thank the useless website though because it got me out when everyone else in Tennessee was under a roof. It turned out to be a delightful trip, thanks to having exactly the right gear:

- paddling boots with wool socks
- fuzzy rubber pants (fuzzy fleece on the inside, waterproof rubber-like substance on the outside)
- Marmot raincoat with hood
- my Bongo Billy ball cap from Salida, CO (which kept the rain off my face)
- camouflage neoprene hunting gloves (that I got at Walmart for $2 and are 100 times better than expensive paddling gloves - I didn't use them because it was 60 degrees)
- a bail, because my boat kept filling up with rain water
- a dry bag full of treats (Cheetos, to be exact).

About halfway through the trip came a gullywasher that was downright unpleasant, so I hiked across a field and took refuge in an old, one-room schoolhouse called Mabry School. I sat there eating Cheetos -- and watching the cows watch me -- til it let up.

A couple of curious cows:

I documented my stop with a self-portrait, but I didn't get a single pic of the river.

I only encountered one challenge (not counting the rain), which was a huge tree across the river. I had to drag my boat up a steep embankment, about 50 yards through the woods, then drop it off another embankment. It was at this point I realized I've turned into my husband. He doesn't let obstacles like illness, weather or personal danger get in the way of having an adventure. And he's perfectly happy to go it alone when everyone else says, "Are you crazy?"

I married the perfect guy!

In the home stretch, I had just a twinge of loneliness, thinking of all my friends who would have enjoyed a float like this in fair weather. But I couldn't think of a single person who would've signed up for this soggy trip, except Spence and he was home tending a toddler. (Let me know if I'm wrong.)

His eyes were a bit saucer-like when I rolled through the door 3-1/2 hours later. He had just told Caroline he was giving me another half-hour, then he was assembling the search team. He loves me!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Please take this elephant off my chest

Cough, cough, hack. That's me. Ever since I had a baby, colds go straight to my chest and I cough for 3 weeks. Since I'm not doing anything fun, I thought I'd post a few Caroline funnies:

When I turn on the light before her eyes have adjusted: "My eyes are dark."

She suffers from allergies just like her mama: "I want the bubbles out of my nose."

When I remind her that her new Step2 kitchen is downstairs: "I better go down and play with it."

When I ask her to do something: "In a little minute."

When I say we're going to the fish fry tonight: "That sounds like funny."

Saturday, January 3, 2009


Nothing says claustrophobia like a 3-foot-tall, who-knows-how-deep cave. I've lived on our farm for nearly 5 years and never ventured into it. My brother, the geologist, and sister, the science teacher, would be impressed. See the stalactites?


Thursday, January 1, 2009

NYE: We partied til it was, oh, 9:30 or so

Introducing Sarah Jane Inman...

Granddaughter #3 was born to the Inman family yesterday. Sarah Jane weighed in at 7 lbs. 8 oz. Parents Todd and Tara and their two-year-old daughter Savannah live in Chattanooga. Caroline is eager to meet her new cousin.

Meanwhile, C and I got ready for our NYE shindig by dancing to Patsy Cline (thanks for the tee, Janet)...

and washing dirty pawprints off our windows.

Party pics to come...